Thursday, February 9, 2012

As You Like It

I am one of those people who finds that he enjoys a challenge yet once the challenge is met I prefer to move on and try something new.

I am an atheist, which in the US these days is a political statement, but I mean it simply as a statement of fact. I believe the pursuit of meaning, the hope of life everlasting is futile and disperses energy best consumed in the pursuit of the best possible daily reality. I like the Buddhist notion of "mindfulness" that is to say attempting to pay attention to the value of each passing minute.

Which, like most religious precepts is almost impossible to follow precisely, because if religion were easy it would be senseless. The difficulty is part of the charm. Nevertheless I do try to live each day mindfully, and each day I fail, I remain determined to try again when I rise the next day.

After four and a half years and 2500 essays I felt I had figured out the blogging thing. I wanted a new challenge so I went into partnership. That the partnership has failed is my fault not Chuck's and I am forced to take responsibility for the failure of the other web site because I had to recognize I am a one man band not a partnership. I wanted to view blogging as an activity and I wanted to try to increase the difficulty of the activity to increase the challenge.

Instead I find my blog actually is my diary. I can go back and read an essay and use that tiny little window into the past to remind myself of a time in my life. I found myself drawn to my old diary for pleasure and to my new website less and less and apparently I was not alone. This site gets as many hits after a month of inactivity as the new website where I was blogging daily.

That reinforced my feeling that this space is different and special because it is particular. My space is mine because it's mine. Here I can meander in my own garden of ideas and make no excuses to anyone or for anyone. I have a quality rarely found on the pages of the Internet, an old fashioned quality that I like very much in myself.

Ironic detachment requires me to take observer status and try to see the unintended humor in daily life. I have the awkward attribute of being able to see two sides to any story, a quality that makes me unsuitably inclined to a career as a police officer. Ironic detachment is a fine quality I have discovered, in a police dispatcher. It is just too bad I cannot tell the stories here that cross my desk every work night. Irony is a very helpful tonic when forced to listen to endless stories of human misery night after night and then seek a solution to the intractable.

Ironic detachment requires the observer to have the ability to laugh at himself. When I was a reporter I grew up in the shadow of the old school dictum that a reporter's job is to "afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted" and some days I like to do the same here. On other less moody days I see myself as a clown on the stage of life, Mr Bean failing in the simplest of daily tasks, and better yet observing my fellows in doing the same.

It doesn't always work yet sometimes I find people recall with perfect clarity an essay I wrote and posted just to fill the space. It's impossible to tell who sees what richness and value in which space. This is my space as eccentric and uncertain as am I. The lesson is learned: this is my home. Welcome to my space on the infinite web, a place that could fairly be described in Shakespeare's "As You Like It" suitably enough as "a poor thing but mine own" quoted below in a discussion of virginity, it turns out, not penmanship.

God 'ild you, sir; I desire you of the like. I
press in here, sir, amongst the rest of the country
copulatives, to swear and to forswear: according as
marriage binds and blood breaks: a poor virgin,
sir, an ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own; a poor
humour of mine, sir, to take that that no man else
will: rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a
poor house; as your pearl in your foul oyster.

I hope Key West Diary can occasionally yield a pearl from foul oysters.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


bobskoot said...

Mr Conchscooter:

thankfully you have come to your senses, as eccentric as you are, and as outspoken as you are. I just didn't have the heart to "delete" you, nor did I put the other site on my preferred reading list.

welcome back, I had to rub my eyes twice when I saw the new post

I LOVE YOU, and I don't say this to everyone. Those are the hardest three words a male can muster

Riding the Wet Coast

Anonymous said...

Regardless of where you write, I will always read your blog. I still think the best of your blogs should be compiled and put in a book like Mandy's Tan Lines book.

Bob from Livingston Montana

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you are back. You are part of my daily routine, and I missed your old blog, besides I like bud lite.


Spineless Charlie said...

I knew the other blog was done for when I realized I couldn't tell if a post had been written by you or Chuck. The only thing a writer has is his or her voice--glad to see you have reclaimed yours.

Conchscooter said...

Thank you all. It became obvious i had to go it alone. Here's to another 2500 essays.
I think I will do one a day long form for a while and enjoy that.

Danette said...

Glad your back! The website is lovely and I will check on Chuck occasionally but your posts there were just not quite the same.

cpa3485 said...

This is awesome! You again are back at the top of my list where you have belonged for a long time!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back into my life and the numerous other lives you enrich. Long may eccentricity, surprise, thoughfulness, clear vision and love of words live!

David B. said...

It never hurts to gain a little perspective. Keep on doing what you're doing, and everything will be right with the world.

Anonymous said...

Glad I found your diary. Very interesting reading.

Neal M said...

Glad to have you back Michael. I like you blogging all on your own!

Anonymous said...

From the cold northern climes where Mandy Bolen sometimes lays her head, I welcome your return. We're having SNOW today to celebrate it. Having a few time visited the keys, I had the fortune to discover the locals side of the rock after the 3rd trip, and am thankful for that peek. Your photos and philosophy is a warm shaft of sunlight in my windowless cubicle at work. THANK YOU.
from the wilds of somerset NJ.

Conchscooter said...

Glad to be of help!

Anonymous said...

Conch Scooter is back?

Yaaaayyy!!!! I love this blog, and not just for the virtual great weather. There are pearls of wisdon and when I come across one it is like a gift. The whole blog is a pearl really, or maybe more like a literary coral reef, which I like better. Complicated, colorful, changing, you take a dive in and look around. And the pic of the Bonneville!!!

Best Regards,

Sal Paradise

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Conchscooter.

You tried the rest, now come back to the best...

A light (4"( of snow here, our fist this winter.

Cheyenne of course is the major person of interest, ditto his owner, master, blogger and photographer of all things Key West

Conchscooter said...

Aha. I have never forgotten sal's comment that his Bonneville is happier for six months in upstate new York than mine is with year round riding down here. I still have a hankering to ride the Adirondacks as a result!
Bryce, I need your wisdom as much. No one explains Canada like you do. If Rick santorum wins I expect you to sponsor me for refugee status in the real land of the free.

Cindy said...

Yaaayyy! Now if you could just make the pictures big again...

Conchscooter said...

I wish I could. click on the ones you want to scrutinize and they pop up.

Shonassie said...

Oh thank goodness!!! I was so upset to see that you had left. I no it's good to try new things, but in this case, I'm so glad you decided that the old way was better!!! I flake out from time to time because I just can't bear not being in KW, but then I come back and get all caught up with life and your take on things and I feel like I'm catching up with an old friend! Thanks Dear Conch (Michael) I'm so glad to have your blog back in my life again! ( P.S. Flake out is over, I'm back for a while! LOL!!!)

Shonassie (Sherry)